By The Nation
Maj Gen Piyapong Klinphan was responding to a video posted online the day before showing Saksit Srisunthorn in tears because he has to enter military service and “abandon” his grandmother.
Army chief Gen Chalermchai Sitthisart and First Army Area Commander Lt Gen Kukiart Srinakha both saw the video and instructed officials in charge of the draft to see what could be done.
Another Army officer posted the video on Facebook as “Art Tua Por”. Showing the then-unidentified conscript breaking down and requiring assistance to sign draft documents, the clip was viewed more than 2.4 million times in less than 24 hours.
The posting officer explained that the conscript was worried that, with him in the armed forces, his ailing 75-year-old grandma had no one to take care of her.
Piyapong said the conscript had subsequently been identified as Saksit, a resident of Bangkok’s Phasi Charoen district.
Piyapong said Saksit waived his right to delay entry into the military and drew a red card in the conscription lottery, meaning he will begin his two-year hitch at the 11th Army Circle on Rama V Road in Dusit district on November 1.
It was confirmed that Saksit is his family’s primary breadwinner and takes care of his grandma and two middle-aged aunts – one of whom is also ailing – as well as a teenage nephew attending school.
Piyapong promised that both Saksit and his grandmother would be taken care of well.
Army spokesman Col Winthai Suvaree added that, if necessary, Saksit could take leave from duty to attend to his grandma.